On the day that the football world focused its attention on Durban and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Preliminary Draw, Budapest teenager Roland Csaszar was busy with qualifying business of his own as he earned a place in the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final in Berlin by winning the Hungarian qualifying event.
'Csaszi', as the 17-year-old is known, will feature among the best 32 interactive players in the finale on 24 May next year and he said: "I really hope that I can win the grand final in Berlin. I don't know what the other players will be like but at least I will have the advantage of a few months' training for the Final to help me."
This weekend's competition will have set him on the right
course. 'Csaszi' had to compete against 200 other hopefuls
at Budapest's Polus Centre, the number narrowing down to 64 for
the second day of competition.
Hungarian models Lia Kustanczi and Dundika opened the event while Day 2 featured a visit from REAC Budapest footballers Andras Kohalmi and Krisztian Nyerges, who popped along to try their luck at the virtual form of the game. "You can clearly tell from how people play which once are also footballers. Having an understanding of the game makes it easier to spot your opponent's tactics and work out how to beat them," said Nyerges.
The competition was full of surprises as FIFA Interactive World Cup 2005 runner-up and 2006 Grand Finalist, Gabor Mokos, lost in a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals. This left the path open for 'Csaszi', who having made the last 16 here in 2006, went all the way this time, beating Balazs Remi 2-1 in the final. There were 1,185 goals scored in 620 matches over the course of the two days and 'Csaszi', the third European qualifier for the grand final, said he was "very proud" to have come out on top. "This is my dream - I have always wanted to win this event and I am obviously very proud here today."
The tournament now turns its attention to Asia where the Korean qualifying event takes place in Seoul on 23 December. For more information on all of the upcoming qualifiers, simply go to www.FIFA.com/FIWC and click on the 'Destinations' page.